Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools inducted seven new alumni into its Hall of Fame on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at a special induction ceremony at Eastland Career Center in Groveport. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was part of the district’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Individuals were nominated for the honor from colleagues, relatives, teachers, and more. Started in 1988, the Hall of Fame has more than 50 inductees.
“For 30 years now we have inducted deserving alumni into our Hall of Fame, recognizing their accomplishments after they’ve completed one of our programs,” said Bonnie Hopkins, superintendent of Eastland-Fairfield for the past eight years. “We are always excited to showcase not only their career accomplishments, but what they’ve accomplished in life. They are contributing to society in positive ways, both economically and through their hours of volunteerism. These inductees truly represent some of our finest.”
Class of 2008, Canal Winchester
Allied Health, Fairfield Career Center
After completing the Allied Health program at Fairfield Career Center in 2008, Adewunmi Adelaja continued his educational journey at The Ohio State University. He earned a bachelor of science in biology in 2012 at OSU, where he also served as a research assistant in the Mangel Lab from 2010-2012. In 2013, he headed to Los Angeles, California, where he is currently working on both his Ph.D. and M.D. in the UCLA-Caltech program. He is expected to complete his Ph.D. in 2019 and his M.D. in 2021 and is also serving as graduate student researcher.
Adelaja has accomplished many things since his time studying at Fairfield Career Center. His bachelor’s degree was paid for after earning the Morrill Excellence Scholarship. When he completed his studies at OSU, he was awarded with the Honors in Arts and Sciences and Honors Research Distinction in Biology. He was also an OSU College of Arts and Sciences Rising Star Award recipient and Health Sciences Scholar. He earned the UCLA-Caltech Medical-Scientist Training Fellowship, which covers the costs of his Ph.D. and M.D. studies, as well as his Vascular Biology Training Fellow.
Since being at UCLA, Adelaja has done plenty to grow and contribute to his profession. He has served as the director of communications for the UCLA Graduate Student Association, was a student advisor for the re-applicant program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, served as vice-chair for technology of the American Physician-Scientist Association, was chapter vice-president of the Student National Medical Association, and is the co-founder of New Beginning Healthcare Services, LLC.
Class of 1989, Groveport Madison
Automotive Technology, Eastland Career Center
After completing the Eastland Career Center Automotive Technology program in 1989, Danny Foor continued to develop his passion and pathway in the automotive industry. Foor currently serves as the lead instructor for engine performance, manual transmission and powertrain at Columbus State Community College. He is also the TechLINK Coordinator, where he works with nearly 140 employers to place automotive students in high-demand jobs. It was during his senior year at ECC where his career technically began, with an early placement at Byers Imports.
“My hard work and program knowledge helped me quickly obtain the position of Jaguar Master Technician, shop foreman, and Subaru Technical Supervisor,” said Foor. “While I am now a full-time instructor, I still help Byers solve technology-related concerns when needed.”
Since high school, Foor has earned his ASE Master Technician, L1 and G1 certifications. He has achieved an MLR and AST certification from Columbus State. As a Jaguar Master Technician, he has clocked over 1,000 hours of update training and as an instructor he has clocked over 200 hours of update training. He still gives back to EFCTS by working to help students transition into automotive training at the postsecondary level at Columbus State. He also serves on the advisory board at South-Western Career Academy and works to help people with car repairs at his church, Grace Fellowship Christian Church.
“I am both proud and humbled to be a product of Eastland Career Center,” Foor offered.
Class of 2004, Groveport Madison
Commercial Art, Eastland Career Center
Even though Christon Gray studied commercial art at Eastland Career Center, it was his love of music that has always proved to be his passion, one in which he has turned into a successful career. Before finding success in the music industry, though, Gray continued his education for a time at the Columbus College of Art & Design and The Ohio State University. He held internships at The Ohio Expo Center, which eventually led to the lead designer position.
Gray is an artist who taught himself to play the piano, rap and sing. Hailing from a musical family, he began his career in music 18 years ago, when he and his brother formed the group The Elevationist. While being a musical director at church, the Groveport Madison graduate was heavily influenced by hip hop. With the diverse background and influences, Christon has created his own musical language.
“I don’t wanna sound crazy, but I had music in my head that I couldn’t get out, changes, arrangements. I just remember being in my grandmother’s house and hitting keys to find the melodies in my head, trying to find the chord underneath.”
After releasing a solo album in 2011, Gray became part of the We Live Like Kings collective, and the group released the highly successful “W.L.A.K.” album in 2013. In 2014, Gray released “School Of Roses”, which showcased his unique mix of soul, pop, hip hop, and Christian spirituality that established him as one of the artists to watch. The buzz he created caught the attention of Kirk Franklin, who in late 2015 signed Christon Gray to his record label at RCA Record. He’s had two albums chart in the top five of the Billboard R&B chart, as well as top ten entries into the Billboard Hip Hop and Christian charts. His songs have been featured by the NFL on the Super Bowl, ESPN, HBO, FOX, and more. Gray has been featured in Forbes, Essence, and JET magazines and has performed with Boyz II Men, the BET Honors, and at the Prince Tribute on Revolt TV. His song, “Stop Me,” is featured in the Warner Bros. film “Rampage” starring Dwayne Johnson.
Currently residing in Westchester, Ohio, Gray is giving back by being part of planting two churches in Columbus, assisting in prison and homeless outreach programs, and working on an inner-city initiative to develop artists in an at-risk youth environment in order to provide opportunity to flourish in the marketplace. He was recently hired as the worship leader for Christ’s Church in Mason, Ohio. He says his greatest accomplish is his five-year old daughter, Mya Blue Gray.
Shannon L. Sines
Class of 1994, Bloom-Carroll
Dental Assisting, Eastland Career Center
While Shannon Sines trained in Dental Assisting at Eastland Career Center, her career path would take a turn following stints working as a dental assistant at various locations in Ohio. Now residing in North Carolina, Sines has been the owner and president of several businesses for nearly a decade. The Vogue of Swansboro Inc., a full-service, five-star rated salon that employs a staff of more than 15, specializes in hair, makeup, spa services, and skin care. Vogue Studios, Inc., specializes in special effects makeup, theatrical and stage makeup, film and television makeup, and moulage makeup services for military and medical trainings. Here, Sines oversees an operation that is a fully-equipped special effects laboratory. Finally, Sines owns and operates Formal Creations LLC, which specializes in formal hair and makeup for weddings, military balls, proms, bridal runway shows, and bridal magazine photo shoots.
“I am extremely humbled and honored to be considered for this amazing nomination. Eastland Career Center was the beginning to my very driven spirit,” said Sines. “My Dental Assisting instructors Bonnie Hopkins and Sherri Sauer provided me with the confidence and drive to always improve and educate myself no matter what I did in life. I am forever thankful for the opportunity and education I received at Eastland.”
Sines graduated from Coastal Carolina Community College and is a licensed cosmetology instructor, cosmetologist, and certified special effects makeup artist. She is also a certified special effects makeup instructor and a graduate of the Coastal Carolina Community College School of Cosmetic Arts. She serves on the Coastal Carolina Community College Cosmetology Department Board of Directors. Her special effects, hair, makeup and other work has been featured in television, films, commercials, concerts, fashion shows, and various pageants.
While Sines made the transition from dental assisting into the world of cosmetology, she says some of what she learned in the program at Eastland is still relevant. “Many of the materials, anatomy, and mold-making skills I use today were learned in the Eastland Dental Assisting program.”
Sines founded Families of the Fallen, which provides free hair and waterproof makeup services for local families who have lost loved ones defending our freedom. She says her greatest accomplishment in life is being a proud military wife of 22 years to T.J. Sines, also a former Eastland Career Center student, as well as a mother to two daughters, Kasey and Kelsey.
Class of 1998, Amanda-Clearcreek
Legal Office Technology, Fairfield Career Center
For Dee Smith, 20 years has passed since studying Legal Office Technology at Fairfield Career Center, but she has carried her love for both the legal profession and career-technical education and created a successful career path. For the past 14 years, Smith has worked with Thomas P. Pappas & Associates, a public policy consulting firm. In her role as client services director and lobbyist, she provides legislative representation to multiple clients, including career-technical schools, before the Ohio General Assembly. She is in charge of implementing grassroots strategies, coordination and attendance of legislative meetings, and monitoring legislative hearings.
“I tremendously enjoy representing all of my clients, but it is no secret that my favorite client is the Ohio Association of Comprehensive and Compact Career-Technical Schools,” offered Smith. “Also, it is no secret to anyone who spends much time with me that I have a genuine passion for career-technical education.”
Prior to working at Thomas P. Pappas & Associates, Smith worked as a legal secretary at Roth, Shannon & Underwood in Reynoldsburg and as a legal assistant at Card, Cook, Holt and Pugh in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a member of the Ohio Lobbying Association and spends time in faith-based community outreach and with youth athletic associations.
“It is well-known amongst friends, colleagues, and legislators that I am a career-technical education graduate, and if given five minutes to talk about my experience, I’ll take 20 and will likely be emotional by the time I finish,” said Smith. “It is truly an honor to be nominated for the Hall of Fame.”
Class of 2003, Groveport Madison
Automotive Technology, Eastland Career Center
Following graduation from high school in 2003, Daniel Trippier attended Columbus State Community College and worked as a Toyota/Lexus Master Auto Technician. Teaching, though, was calling his name, and when given the opportunity to return to the school that taught him his initial skills, he took it. Trippier is the current Automotive Technology instructor at Eastland Career Center, a position in which he has spent the past decade.
“I plan and deliver classroom lessons in steering and suspension, brakes, engine performance, and electrical. Master of these areas enable our students to pass state and industry certifications,” offered Trippier. He also demonstrates techniques and monitors students and coordinates job placements with industry partners and college programs.
Trippier also has a passion for landscaping and lawn care. He continues to pursue this through his business Trippier Landscape and Snow Removal. He is certified by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in pesticide and fertilizer application. He hold multiple certifications in the automotive industry, including as an ASE certified technician, 2003 Toyota/Lexus Master Auto Technician, and Hybrid Lexus certified technician. He was the 2006 Lexus Employee of the Year and has also been recognized for his work by the Ohio School Board Association. He successfully completed his career and technical teacher education program at The Ohio State University and his currently working towards his bachelor’s degree. He has volunteered his time as a local SkillsUSA contest judge, Lexus AYES mentor, the Columbus State Automotive Program, and more.
Patrick M. White
Class of 2005, Reynoldsburg
Law Enforcement, Eastland Career Center
Following completion of the Law Enforcement program, Patrick White continued his education at Columbus State Community College, earning his associate’s degree in criminal justice. He went to work for the Department of Homeland Security and was selected to and graduated from the Ohio State Highway Patrol as a state trooper in 2014. Since becoming a state trooper, White was named as the Lancaster Post Trooper of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. In 2017, he was selected by the Ohio State Highway Patrol District Six Command Staff as the 2017 District Six Trooper of the Year. Accolades for his service have been consistent throughout his career. He has received the Ohio State Highway Patrol District Six Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award in both 2016 and 2017 for his hours of community service. Other awards earned in his career as a trooper include the Seat Belt Enforcement Award, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Award for Excellence, Criminal Patrol Award, Misdemeanor Criminal Patrol Award, OVI Enforcement Award, to name a few. In 2016 he was selected by the Knights of Columbus for the Blue Coat Award for Fairfield County, an award presented to first responders for exemplary service and dedication to the citizens of the county.
“I am very grateful for this nomination. I would not be the man nor the trooper I am today without the education I received from the Eastland Career Center Law Enforcement Program and from my former instructor, Mr. Dan Garnder,” said White.
White is certified through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for emergency response to critical incidents, as well as in first aid response through the American Red Cross. He is also a certified peace officer through the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy. White volunteers his time at multiple high schools through three counties delivering presentations on avoidance of prescription drug addiction. He also volunteers at elementary schools with various events like Cop and Kids Days, Touch-a-Truck public safety events and reads to students through the Books and Badges program. He volunteers with both the Eastland and Fairfield Career Center’s Criminal Justice programs, the Fairfield County Sheriff Office Community Watch, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Fairfield and Perry County Fairs, and more.
“I promote Eastland-Fairfield during all of my community outreach, and I encourage both future students and parents to consider the career center programs,” said White. “I always explain just how much the career centers have impacted both my personal and professional life.”